Faculty Resources

Instructional Continuity Planning: Preparing for Online Instruction

Preparing before an emergency

  • Identify your plans early: In your syllabus, include a clearly stated course policy regarding make-ups and absences that takes into account emergency closings. Leave some room in your schedule/syllabus for changes and modifications. Post your syllabus in your canvas course shell so that your students can easily access it.
  • Have a communication strategy ready in case classes are cancelled due a campus closing. Make sure your students know where to find course information and how they can contact you.
  • Stay informed: Stay up-to-date on University closings and delays with the University of Kentucky Emergency Alert System. Advise your students to do the same.

Communicate during an emergency

  • Even if you don't have a plan in place yet, reach out to your students as soon as possible. Let them know that class has been cancelled and what your expectations are for checking email or Canvas for more information.
  • Post an Announcement in Canvas to quickly alert your students to any changes. Be sure to select the option to Send a copy of this announcement immediately to send an email to all enrolled users.

Consider your curriculum

  • Review your syllabus: Think through some options for how to make up missed class time. Identify your priorities: distributing content, class discussions, collecting assignments, etc. Which activities can be rescheduled or made up online? Could virtual activities/simulations be substituted? Your approaches may vary depending on your course schedule and content and the length of the expected closing.
  • Check with others in your department: Check with colleagues teaching the same and similar courses. How do they plan to shift the content of their courses online?
  • Identify your expectations: Reconsider some of your expectations, including participation, communication, and deadlines. Keep in mind the impact that the closing may have on students' ability to meet these expectations, including illness, power outages, family commitments, etc.
  • Create a detailed communication plan: Once you have worked through your options, send a detailed message to your students. Let them know what you have changed and detail your expectations. Let students know how to contact you (email, phone, online office hours, etc.) and how soon they can expect a reply. 

Find your tools

  • Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students: Try to rely on tools and workflows that are familiar to you and your students. Try not to introduce more than one new tool, as having to learn multiple tools in the middle of an emergency may cause frustration for you and your students.
  • Use Canvas to:
    • Post documents and readings 
    • Collect student assignments using the canvas assignment tool when possible
    • Create and facilitate online discussions using Canvas Discussion Board
    • Create and post a short video lectures using Echo360 Personal Capture, YuJa Media or Canvas media built-in.
  • Review the available University-supported presentation tools below.

Presentation tools to conduct your classes online

Below are simple tutorials to get started with tools that can be used to facilitate classroom activities such as lectures, student questions, discussion etc. through online options.  Please familiarize yourself in the different options presented in the case of a campus closure.

Visit our tutorials page to see more online ed tutorials

Campus/Other Resources for Support

Teaching, Learning and Academic Innovation

  • Daily Office Hours

    CELT is eager to help with any questions, from the technical to the teacherly. Pop in for a quick how-to or stick around and talk through more complex ideas. Virtual office hours are held via Zoom.

    Weekdays (Monday through Friday):

    9 am to 5 pm

    Virtual Location: All office hours will be held at https://uky.zoom.us/j/97391113714

  • Schedule a one-on-one consultation: If you'd like to schedule a time with one of CELT's consultants or specialists, send a message to: teachanywhere@uky.edu. 

Additional resources

Recommended books by our faculty:



* Please feel free to send us any additional resources/recommendations and we will post them to this page.